General News of Wednesday, 16 August 2023
Assin Central Member of Parliament, Kennedy Agyapong has explained his role in forcing the hand of businessman Ibrahim Mahama to settle customs duties of about 14 million cedis in 2017.
Agyapong is quoted early that year to have said on live TV that he would “commit suicide if Mahama is not jailed,” highlighting what he said was evasion of duties by Mahama’s firm in the importation of their machines.
Asked about his suicide threat and Ibrahim (a brother to former president Mahama’s continued freedom), the lawmaker insisted that “he is corrupt.”
“Ibrahim Mahama was clearing all is machines without paying duties. I took him on and he went and paid 14 million Ghana cedis …,” Agyapong said on Citi TV on August 15, 2023.
He also claimed that at the time he was threatening to expose Ibrahim, “some big chiefs and politicians were begging on his behalf and now he even has the moral right…”
Agyapong has insisted that even though politicians must be blamed for failure to fight corruption, part of that blame should be put at the doorstep of the judiciary because of their continued failure to expedite prosecutions.
A Daily Graphic report in April 2017 detailed why ECOCO demanded that Ibrahim makes payments of duties he had yet to honour.
Portions of the Daily Graphic report is reproduced below:
The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) has given Mr Ibrahim Mahama, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Engineers & Planners, a private engineering firm, a two-week ultimatum to pay almost GH¢13 million, being import duties and interest on equipment he brought into the country.
A source at EOCO told the Daily Graphic that although the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) had an arrangement with Mr Mahama to pay the amount, totalling GH¢12,755.251.21, within a certain period, he failed to fulfil his part of the agreement for more than a year.
The source said rather, Mr Mahama, who is a brother of former President John Dramani Mahama, issued dud cheques, which was a criminal offence.
He was reportedly granted bail after EOCO had interrogated him last Tuesday. The cheque was said to be for goods reportedly cleared in 2015.
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